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Posts Tagged ‘silage’

Silage Results

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Starting to get some silage analysis back now and results look really good. Only problem will be shortages of quantity. For ad-lib silage intakes with dairy cows budget on 11-12 kg dry matter per day, and remember with good silage they will eat more than usual. Assess stocks – 20 kg’s of silage per cubic foot of clamp, and work out how much there is, budget how much is needed, and be realistic on who really needs the good stuff. Heifers on straw and maize gluten (£180-190/tonne at present) is a really effective system and will save some silage for the millers.

When balancing winter rations, try and take advice from an independent nutritionist – they won’t try to sell you something you don’t need!

Phone us for more advice.

Forage Stocks and Silage Yields

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Average first cut yields are down on normal by around 2-3 tonnes per acre. Second cuts may make up some of the shortfall but is unlikely to cover it all. It is essential to budget forward your winter forage requirements, allowing for some spring buffer. Think about alternatives as soon as possible, remember you won’t be the only one who may be short of forage. Bale up any excess grass on the grazing platform, think about buying standing crops of whole crop, or grass, consider putting young stock on straw, price up bulk feeds.

Try and be ahead of the game – it will save you money and stress later on.

Second Cut Underway

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Some mowers are out dropping grass for second cut. A grass test will be useful to check that the nitrate levels are low enough. If in doubt go for an acid additive to guarantee fermentation. Yields are looking good, so maybe this winter could be better than last.

Aftermath care

Friday, June 14th, 2013

Now most silages are clamped, attention should turn to the aftermaths. If you wish to graze, aim for 50 units of nitrogen and 30 units of potash. 3,000 gallon per acre of slurry will more than meet the potash requirements, so if applied opt for straight nitrogen to reduce staggers risk.

If the fields are to be utilised for second cut, aim for 75 units of nitrogen and 45 units of potash. If you can avoid grazing these fields, regrowth will be quicker and cleaner. Allowing these fields to be shut off, will help see clamps fill again after last years shortage.

Silage top tips

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

Silage is now well under way, with many already done. It is perhaps useful to remind yourselves of some of the important points to give better results

1. Additive doesn’t make bad silage good
2. Don’t mow too early in the morning or late at night
3. Always ted out the grass
4. Consolidate quickly in clamp
5. Get the sheet on quickly, with some weight on top

It is worth trying to get these points right – you will be feeding the silage for 5-6 months!

Difficult Spring

Friday, May 24th, 2013

As many clients are saying, this is the most difficult spring in living memory – low grass growth, low temperature and low forage stocks. Cashflow is under pressure, and many are struggling.

There is no easy answers, but try and take some easy practical steps to aid the pressure:

Cull any unproductive animals – reduce the grazing pressure
Bring some youngsters in and feed straw and concentrates
Use the electric fence to ration grass
Back fence where possible to prevent back grazing
Take silage off sooner rather than later – bring some silage land back to grazing rotation
Speak to your bank earlier and present a plan clearly showing requirements and plan of repayment

Each situation is different, but doing nothing will not help!